Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Teenage Parent Barrier

How to break that parent, teenage barrier?

I read an article today from one of the popular press websites, well it was printed out for me by a colleague after I brought up the subject of difficult relationships with teenage daughters.

My problem, is my fear of never getting back into a stable loving relationship with the person I brought into this world and whom I broke my heart over, on leaving the hospital without her as she was premature. How did we get to this place, a place where conversation is a distant memory, an echo of a past we once shared and is now splintered by hormones and opinions, which are based on little more than the first thought that pops into her head.

She's silent, like a ghost ship in the dark, only little chinks of light remind me my little girl is still in there. The silence is foreboding and I'm now unsure how to break it for fear of breaking something so fragile, that which is or once was, our relationship.

I see her self worth is low, I see her try to be someone she thinks she should be, I see her want to be loved, but know that currently the love she craves is not from me. The love she craves is from those who chatter and laugh about boys and clothes and from the good looking boys far to old for her to understand the complexities they will bring with them. I have to stand by and watch her find her way through these years and hope that she makes it through relatively unscathed. Protecting as best I know how, in as subtle a way as I can so as to not break what ties us.

I have to admit to being affected by this. I feel I now exacerbate the silence with my own as I fear responses and maybe ashamedly, rejection by the one I love. Yes, I've told her time and again I love her, I've said the words, but it now feels as though I say them to myself. I hope she knows I'm here for her should she ever need me, but I'm at a loss on how to be, so I don't be. I watch as she goes out to her friends, and watch as she comes in and goes to her room. I'm a watcher.

It breaks my heart right now and it hurts to know this is a long haul and I hope with all that I am that we make it through this.

The article I read, tells me all this is pretty normal. Teenage girls get hormonal, get silent and moody and have difficult relationships with parents, but knowing it's normal doesn't help. I need to know that we can get through this. I need to know that she knows and actually KNOWS I love her and that one day we will hug and we smile together, but right now, today, there is a huge silent barrier in our way and it's showing no signs of moving.


  1. I feel for you, you could be describing me as a teenager when you describe your daughter, and I do regret what I put my mum through. I have an 18 year old son, no daughter, and when I look back at my relationship with my own mum I am not sure that I could have survived a mother-daughter relationship. I have used the failings of that relationship to try and have a better one with my son by not constantly arguing and nagging. He knows the rules and he does break them, he drinks and smokes, heaven forbid is tries drugs. I'm not sure how we've managed it but he is a lovely lad, although fiercely independent but lacking in get up and go. He wants to go to university and he knows there will be little financial support but I have always said work hard and I will help where I can, don't and you're on your own. I have no answer or advice for how you can ride out the storm, just to say I turned out OK and my relationship with my mum did get back on track so never give up hope, she'll always need her mum.

  2. A very touching post.

    I wouldn't blame the hormones though- the main thing to bear in mind is that the current generation bears little resemblance to previous generations of teens. When I recall my rebellious teen phase, I remember feeling that authority figures ( parents, teachers etc..) were too judgmental and out of touch. For example, what they'd saw as sexual promiscuity, we saw as greater freedom and I still encountered ladies who thought that a girl ought to marry the first man she dates.

  3. Thank you both for your comments.

    ErUpNorth, I'm hoping when my little boy reaches his teenage years it won't be quite as bad as this. I am holding onto the likely hood that girls do tend to have more issues than boys. It's great to read you have a good relationship with your son. I know we have to let them experience some things for themselves, it's just finding that middle ground isn't it.

    Eeleenlee, I know it's not all hormones, some of it obviously is, I mean, she has so many visibly going through her as she changes into womanhood and fights the most hated of teenage spots, but yes, there is that issue that they believe we don't understand, we could never have been where they are and we are just there to stop them having fun. I try to do both, set some guidelines, let her know the things that she really does need to know and also let her go out with her friends and hope she is taking in at least a little of what I have said.

    It has been lovely to receive some replies on an emotional topic for me, so again, thank you both